Gas leak forces evacuations, shuts down streets

Workers say busted line blew manhole cover off


SAN ANTONIO – A gas leak shut down streets and forced evacuations near Donaldson Avenue and St. Cloud on the city's West Side Saturday afternoon.

"When I got on scene, you could hear it sounded like a jet engine. It was a very high pressure gas leak that was occurring and it was straight out of the middle of the street," said San Antonio Police Department spokesman Sgt. Javier Salazar.

The gas line busted and blew the lid off a manhole around 1:30 p.m.

"We evacuated several dozen people as a precaution. We were able to get in touch with the school district who graciously let us use Jefferson High School as a temporary shelter," Salazar said.

A CPS Energy crew responded to the gas leak and managed to cap the flow just before 3 p.m.

"My understanding is that the type of gas that we are dealing with, it doesn't sit on the ground level, it's got a tendency to rise fairly quickly and disseminate into the atmosphere," said Salazar.

Police issued the all-clear at 3:30 p.m. for people evacuated to return to their homes.  

"At this point, it's speculation but the overwhelming belief up there at the front is that a car may have run over the cap and it's a cap that you see on the street, it's a very common site," said Salazar.

Police say the repair made by the CPS crew is temporary, and a permanent fix has to be put in place.

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